This year’s Cheltenham Paint Festival felt a little strange because of the far-reaching impacts of the coronavirus epidemic. In a way the Festival lends itself to social distancing because of the dispersed nature of the pieces across the town, but keeping one’s distance while talking to the artists, or the emptiness of some of the venues added a surreal layer to the whole experience.
I found this piece in the Two Pigs, and had to don a facemask to walk through the gaming pub to get to the back yard where a few pieces had been painted. I was there completely alone, which felt odd. I was however rewarded with this outstanding small piece by Sam Art, which is clearly a commentary on the state of our planet at this time. Some of you might remember his extraordinary photorealistic piece from last year’s festival. A fabulous artist.